Personal Test: Zombie Run 5K 2012

I had always been out of shape: mostly it was my lack of keeping a consistent workout routine as well as not watching my diet. Before the start of the fall semester, I vowed to start making changes in my diet and start keeping a regular workout. I discarded all sodas, sweets and fast food from what I eat and started going to the gym two to three times a week.

To help keep me motivated, I set a goal for myself to run a 5K (3.1 miles) within the semester. I searched around and found the Sacramento 5K Zombie Run, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have a personal affinity of all things to survive the zombie apocalypse and figured “if I am not fit enough to outrun the Horde, I am not fit enough.” So I convinced another health conscious friend to sign up with me and test our bodies to the trials of the challenge.


From the beginning of the semester towards October 27th, I trained and improved my stamina, endurance and overall body strength to be prepared for the outbreak. Day by day, week-by-week I feel more energized and confident in tackling the run. When the run was a week away, I felt ready and anxious to see what I was capable of achieving.

On the day of the race and my friend and I meet up at Sacramento’s Miller Park, each with our three “lives” (red flags) tucked into our waistlines and ready for the challenge ahead. We meet a friendly face intending to run alone, but we offered her to join us: it’s always good to have a buddy when facing walkers (zombies). Laced up with a facemask and Camelbak at the ready, the three of us started the run at 9:00am.

The first quarter mile of the run had a herd of walkers waiting for us straight from the gate: many fell and flags were lost. By the time we cleared the area, each of us held onto our last life, we regrouped and ran/jogged/walked past droves of walkers: some with a campy humor to their demeanor, while others took the part to the extremes with hanging, bloody flesh, yellowed eyes and blood oozing from the mouth. My buddies and I ran off-road through mud and water, crawled through pipes all while avoiding the undead, they lost their remaining lives and I had thought I lost mine.

Past the halfway point, I walk ahead of the other two, who yelped in excitement to say I still retained my last flag. On the way back from the long stretch of pavement, we gained our momentum again and started our trek back to the finish line. Along the way, we had to deal with stacked bales of hay to climb over, a tire run, and MORE walkers waiting in-between each obstacle who came out of nowhere.

We neared the end of the race, with a lone volunteer shouted words of encouragement outside an overflowing, disgusting excuse for a bathroom. I rallied my comrades to take it up and finish it off right. We came across a makeshift Slip-n-Slide with a pool of mud waiting at the end and without hesitation, dove in and came out a little muddier than I had started. The others followed suit and we jogged the last leg of the run to the finish line, finishing 54.36. Not bad for my first 5K.

To commemorate the completion of our run, we were rewarded a dog-tag with the event’s logo emblazoned upon it. There were food trucks present to feed our appetites, but all we wanted was our beer. Our new companion bid us farewell and my friend and I were given our free brews: hers a Shock Top Belgian White, mine a Shock Top End of the World Midnight Wheat. We finished our beers and trekked back to my car, satisfied with the outcome of our first 5K.

The hard work and discipline I had put myself through in order to complete my first 5K run inspired me to try for more. This event has given me a new sense of motivation to keep up my workouts and diet and I plan on undertaking more 5K runs in the future. I encourage anyone to run an obstacle 5K run to test their physical abilities and cross something off of their bucket list.

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Twitter: @upvotejoe



  1. I really like the idea of Zombies, Run!
    It mixes my passion with my fears, my passion for the Zombie Apocalypse and my fears of being out of shape.

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